A male teacher at government-aided residential school in Maharashtra's Beed district was on Monday booked by police for allegedly forcing girl students to take bathe in the open and making sexual advances towards them at night.
The girls, studying in the school, located in Shirur taluka of the district, around 150 kilometres from Beed, mostly belong to families of sugarcane harvesters.
The sexual abuse had been going on for past five months, but came to light only a few days ago when one of the victims took the courageous step of writing a letter to an advocacy group - Lek Ladki Abhiyan.
"Senior government officials from the social welfare department also accompanied us in our visit. We asked the affected girls to share their experiences without any fear. The girls echoed similar experiences of sexual abuse that were mentioned in the letter," said Lek Ladki Abhiyan founder Varsha Deshpande.
The school management has suspended the teacher, said Assistant commissioner with the social welfare department (Beed) Ravindra Shinde.
Shirur Police have lodged complaint under several sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and Sexual Harassment Act of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the teacher, who is presently absconding.